G.R. No.


January 16, 2003 PHILIPPINES, petitioner,


Facts: Sometime in February 1997, respondent Rafael Jose Consing, Jr. and his mother, Cecilia de la Cruz, 4 represented to Plus Builders, Inc. (PBI) that they are the true and lawful owners of a 42,443 square meter lot situated in Imus, Cavite and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 687599 in the name of Cecilia de la Cruz. They further represented that they acquired said lot, which was previously covered by TCT No. 191408 from Juanito Tan Teng and Po Willie Yu. Relying on the representations of respondent and his mother, PBI purchased the questioned lot. In April 1999, PBI discovered that respondent and his mother did not have a valid title over the subject lot. PBI came to know that Juanito Tan Teng and Po Willie Yu never sold said lot to respondent and his mother and that TCT No. 191408 upon which TCT No. 687599 was based is not on file with the Register of Deeds. In August 1999, PBI was ousted from the possession of the disputed lot by Juanito Tan Teng and Po Willie Yu. Despite written and verbal demands, respondent and his mother refused to return the amount of P13,369,641.79 alleged to have been initially paid by PBI. On July 22, 1999, respondent filed with the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City, Branch 68, an action for "Injunctive Relief" docketed as Civil Case No. SCA 1759, against PBI, Unicapital Inc, Unicapital Realty Inc., Jaime Martires, Mariano D. Martinez, Cecilia de la Cruz and 20 other John Does. 5 Respondent sought a declaration that he was merely an agent of his mother, Cecilia de la Cruz, and therefore was not under any obligation to PBI and to the other defendants on the various transactions involving TCT No. 687599. On October 13, 1999, PBI filed against respondent and his mother a complaint for "Damages and Attachment," docketed as Civil Case No. 99-95381, with Branch 12 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. 6 Respondent filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of forum shopping and pendency of Civil Case No. SCA 1759. 7 On January 21, 2000, a criminal case for estafa through falsification of public document was filed against respondent Rafael Jose Consing, Jr. and his mother with the RTC of Imus, Cavite.

Issue: Whether or not the pendency of Civil Case Nos. SCA 1759 and 99-95381, for Injunctive Relief and for
Damages and Attachment, is a prejudicial question justifying the suspension of the proceedings in the criminal case for estafa through falsification of public document, filed against the respondent.

Held: If both civil and criminal cases have similar issues or the issue in one is intimately related to the issues raised in the other, then a prejudicial question would likely exist, provided the other element or characteristic is satisfied. It must appear not only that the civil case involves the same facts upon which the criminal prosecution would be based, but also that the resolution of the issues raised in the civil action would be necessarily determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused. If the resolution of the issue in the civil action will not determine the criminal responsibility of the accused in the criminal action based on the same facts, or there is no necessity that the civil case be determined first before taking up the criminal case, therefore, the civil case does not involve a prejudicial question. 14 In the case at bar, we find no prejudicial question that would justify the suspension of the proceedings in the criminal case.

It was alleged in the information that petitioner "being then lawfully married to Elvira Makatangay. L-22579 February 23. Branch I. Facts: On February 27. petitioner. HON. she compelled him to appear and contract marriage with her before the Justice of the Peace of Makati. on the ground that by means of threats. the first spouse. petitioner as defendant in said case. Issue: .G. of bigamy. presided over by respondent Judge." On March 15. vs. against the third-party defendant Elvira Makatangay. threats and intimidation allegedly employed by petitioner and because of its allegedly bigamous character. On June 15. with the offense. petitioner was charged before the Court of First Instance of Batangas. unlawfully and feloniously contract a second marriage with Fe Lourdes Pasia. and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. LORENZO RELOVA. 1968 ROLANDO LANDICHO. Branch I. No. did then and there wilfully. Rizal. 1963. an action was filed before the Court of First Instance ofBatangas.R. likewise presided plaintiff respondent Judge Fe Lourdes Pasia. praying that his marriage with the said third-party defendant be declared null and void. which marriage has not been legally dissolved. force and intimidation. 1963. 1963. filed a third-party complaint. in his capacity as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Batangas. respondents. seeking to declare her marriage to petitioner as null and void ab initio because of the alleged use of force.

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